The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities held its annual Grant Distribution and Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

The Las Vegas chapter granted $299,561 to 64 local children's charities at the ceremony, an increase of almost $25,000 granted at last year's ceremony. Honored guests included Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and members of the United States Air Force and the USAF Thunderbirds.

The evening's festivities included holiday vocal selections by Malia Civetz, the Girl Scout choir and a performance by Culture Shock Las Vegas inner city dance troupe.  Steph MacKenzie of KXPT-FM's morning show, Foxx & MacKenzie, served as M.C. 

The list of 64 recipients included: Candlelighters for Childhood Cancer of Southern Nevada, Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada, Greater Las Vegas After-School All-Stars, "I Have a Dream Foundation", Inc., Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation, Las Vegas Sun Summer Camp, Positively Kids, St. Jude's Ranch for Children, Opportunity Village and Shade Tree.

Fundraising events for the 2006 season included the inaugural Mel Larson Night of Champions, the eighth annual NASCAR Driver Auction at Sam's Town Live!, the chapter's fourth annual golf tournament, and the second annual Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament.
Speedway Children's Charities ( is a non-profit foundation based in Charlotte, N.C., that distributes funds to charities and foundations providing medical, emotional and social services to children in need.  Founded in 1984 by O. Bruton Smith, chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports Inc., Speedway Children's Charities has grown into a national foundation with chapters located at each of the six Speedway Motorsports Inc., facilities, including Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C., Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas-Ft. Worth and Atlanta Motor Speedway. Each chapter's objective is to assist as many children as possible.